A few First grade girls made my day this afternoon. I volunteered at my girls school to help some classes carve soap into hearts (it was Pioneer Day, it’s not a usual thing.) I was going from table to table asking if anyone needed help. As I was showing a girl how to carve with her little plastic knife, she looked up at me with crystal clear blue eyes and whispered, “You are so beautiful.” After not having time to wash my hair this morning and considering how tight my pants were feeling today, this was so encouraging to hear. Ah, the power of little voices speaking positive thoughts. Two other girls who were at different tables and didn’t hear each other, voiced similar compliments to me while I was helping them. My heart swelled. For a split second I wanted to be an Elementary school teacher. But just for a split second. I joke… but, seriously. I honestly don’t know how they do it. Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe my admiration for my girls teachers and their school. We have been more than blessed to live in a neighborhood with such a high-caliber public school. I thank God for it everyday.
I was a Preschool and Kindergarten teacher for a short time before I had children and I know it’s incredibly hard work. I also know that it’s the most rewarding job on the planet. Today I got a glimpse into what keeps teachers going on the really hard days. Those imploring, innocent little faces with bright eyes and eager spirits just got to me today. Is there a more fulfilling role than to teach, inspire and change the lives of the future? It doesn’t matter if you home school, choose private school or send your kids to public school – each one is impacting the world on a large-scale. I would venture to say that teaching is absolutely the most important job out there. I am thankful for teachers, principals and volunteers who pour their time, energy and love into children every day. Just like the soap we made today, these teachers are molding and shaping children’s lives – carving big dreams onto their little hearts and lives.
I have been reading Lara Williams blog for a couple of years and her writing really challenges me. Today’s post was especially good. She makes some great points. Just some food for thought since I was on the subject of schooling… Here’s the link if you’re interested: http://tooverflowing.com
Our church’s kids ministry is amazing. I feel so blessed to go to a church where our girls hear the gospel in a real and tangible way they can clearly understand, from people who are passionate about teaching kids about Jesus. Several times a year, they are asked if they want to make Jesus their “forever friend” and for him to come into their heart and life. I have always wanted my girls to make this decision when it was right for them. I teach and talk about having a relationship with Jesus openly, show them by example (hopefully) and lead them by praying and taking them to church, but ultimately my desire has always been for it to be between them and Jesus and in their own timing.
My oldest trusted Jesus from a very young age and made the decision for Christ one night after church when she learned about what Jesus endured on the cross for her sins. It was the first time she truly learned what grace meant to her personally. She heard more about her Savior and that made her want to get to know him more. It was that simple. She asked me to pray with her for Jesus to be the Lord of her life. She has always been very open about her beliefs. When she started school, she told her teachers all about Jesus and our church. Her preschool teachers told me at every conference that she constantly told the class what she was learning about God. Almost every day, she would invite her teachers and friends to come to our church with us that weekend. She can definitely be a little evangelist. She has a beautiful, unashamed boldness when it comes to loving Jesus.
My youngest is pretty quiet about her faith. She knows what she believes, even at such a tender age, but she doesn’t talk about it much. It’s a quiet strength that carries over into her love for worship music. She connects to certain worship songs and sings every word. I love hearing her sweet voice sing, “You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of dust. You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us” or “My God’s not dead, he’s surely alive and he’s living on the inside roaring like lion…” Those are two of her favorites at the moment. I catch her in her room at night reading “The Action Bible” – a comic book version of the Bible. She loves it and it makes the Bible come alive for her in a way that she is excited to read.
This morning, after hearing the weekend message, we were talking about what the message meant and how God can use anyone for His glory – just like David was a small child and he simply trusted God to use him and he defeated Goliath. We talked about how God can use us in our everyday lives and not just in big things, but even in little, everyday things. We talked for a bit and I asked her if she had ever asked Jesus to be her forever friend. She told me that while she and her sister were dancing to music last week, a Christmas hymn came on that was about the birth of Jesus. She nonchalantly said that she prayed during the song and asked Jesus to be her forever friend. She had not talked to me or Ryan about it. It just was something she did silently. It was between her and her Father. I was not surprised by this, but I definitely wanted to mark the moment and celebrate it! We sat down right then on the edge of the bathtub. I held her in my lap and prayed. I thanked God for her decision to trust Jesus… the absolute most important decision she will ever make.
I am thankful that my girls have decided to follow Jesus – openly, quietly, faithfully. Just as He told us to come to him, with faith like a child. I am thankful that although they are very different, they love Jesus in their own unique and beautiful way. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in and through their lives.
I have to be honest. I had to look to see what day it was before I added the title for this post. The last several days have blurred together in one big crazy, illness ridden, foggy haze. Is that enough descriptive verbiage for you? I honestly don’t know how I got through this day. SERIOUSLY.
I almost fell asleep at the chiropractor today and he kept asking if I was ok and asking what my main symptoms of Lyme were. I think he was afraid he was going to have to call 911 or something if I passed out in his office. Everyone keeps telling me that I look “very pale.” Lovely. I’m also fairly certain that I never fully opened my eyes all day. I fell asleep while taking care of my little girl who continues to fight a bad bug.
However, despite all of this I have felt my heart well up in my chest a few times today. Mom’s homemade beef stew gave me the strength to keep trudging along today and belly laughs with my little family at dinner time made my spirit light as a feather. I watched my sick girl get her appetite back (and eat everything in sight at dinner, while she chatted with chocolate sauce smeared all over her face…cuteness.) It did my heart good to see her feeling a bit better. My oldest finally began to eat solid food again, after struggling with eating the last few days because of her new braces. The satisfied smiles on these precious girls faces while enjoying their meal was priceless. I even snuck in kisses with my man in between bites of chocolate covered strawberries. What more could I want?
I am thankful, that even in some of the hardest moments in life, there are always countless things to be thankful for – too many to even number. I am a blessed woman indeed.